Top 29 Recipes for Chicken Thighs

Chicken with barbecue sauce
Diana Rattray

When I'm planning a meal with chicken, I frequently choose chicken thighs. I like their great flavor, and it doesn't hurt that they're easy on the budget.

Even though chicken breasts are leaner, they lack the flavor chicken thighs have. Chicken thighs also stand up to long cooking, making them an excellent choice for the slow cooker. And if you have a meat grinder or food processor, they make fantastic meatballs. 

Here are some of my favorite recipes using bone-in or boneless chicken...MORE thighs, including oven-fried chicken, stews, ground chicken meatballs and burgers, baked chicken, and slow cooker recipes.

  • 01 of 29
    Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs
    Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs. Diana Rattray

     These tender, juicy chicken thighs develop an amazing crispy seasoned outer skin in the oven, and they take only about 40 to 45 minutes from start to finish. They are surprisingly easy to fix with only five ingredients! 

  • 02 of 29
    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs. Diana Rattray

    If you like spicy fried chicken, add some ground cayenne pepper to the flour along with the paprika. This is great chicken for a family meal or picnic.

  • 03 of 29
    Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs With Farro
    Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs With Farro. Diana Rattray

     I used chicken thighs in this delicious slow cooker dish. Farro is an excellent replacement for rice in the slow cooker as it holds its shape.

  • 04 of 29
    Brunswick Stew with Pork and Chicken
    Diana Rattray

     This Brunswick stew is made with cooked pork shoulder or leftover pulled pork, along with shredded or chopped cooked chicken thighs and vegetables. The barbecue sauce and a touch of cayenne pepper flavor the classic stew. 

    Continue to 5 of 29 below.
  • 05 of 29
    Braised Chicken Taco Filling with Beer
    Diana Rattray

     Make it fast or make it slow, and then enjoy a tasty Tex-Mex meal. I used a pressure cooker to make the filling, but the chicken thighs can be cooked in the crock pot as well. See the tips and variations for instructions.

  • 06 of 29
    Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs, Tex-Mex Style
    Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs, Tex-Mex Style. Diana Rattray

     This is an easy but tasty chicken recipe for the slow cooker, this is a great choice. Boneless chicken thighs are economical and simple to prepare and cook in the slow cooker. This dish is delicious over hot cooked rice or Mexican style rice and a salad.

  • 07 of 29
    Crock Pot Jerk Chicken
    Diana Rattray

     The habanero is the preferred pepper for this dish because of its heat and flavor, but another type of hot pepper may be substituted. Or, use dried crushed red pepper flakes.

  • 08 of 29
    Crispy-Skinned Chicken
    Crispy-Skinned Chicken. Photo: Diana Rattray

     If you like your chicken skin-on and crispy, this is an excellent choice, and it's made with only two ingredients, besides the salt and pepper!

    Continue to 9 of 29 below.
  • 09 of 29
    Slow Cooker Creole Chicken With Sausage
    Slow Cooker Creole Chicken With Sausage. Diana Rattray

     Boneless chicken thighs and spicy andouille sausage team up in this delicious slow cooker dish.   This chicken recipe is easy to put together with no advance cooking needed, and it is delicious with hot cooked rice or noodles.

  • 10 of 29
    chicken burrito filling with chicken thighs
    Diana Rattray

     This is a tasty burrito filling with lots of flavor from the seasonings and jalapeno peppers. Use chicken thighs for the very best flavor and texture. They stay moist and shred nicely.

  • 11 of 29
    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken. Diana Rattray

     For this shredded chicken barbecue, I used a combination of chicken breasts and thighs, along with the homemade barbecue sauce. This chicken makes delicious barbecue sandwiches.

  • 12 of 29
    Oven Fried Chicken Thighs
    Oven-Fried Pepper Jelly Chicken Thighs. Diana Rattray

     A coating of  pepper jelly adds flavor and a little extra heat to these tasty chicken thighs. I used homemade jalapeno pepper jelly in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite brand, red or green.

    Continue to 13 of 29 below.
  • 13 of 29
    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs With Panko
    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs With Panko and Parmesan. Diana Rattray

     Panko crumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese give these chicken thighs a crispy and delicious coating. I used bone-in, chicken thighs with skin for this recipe.

  • 14 of 29
    Chicken Burgers
    Chicken Burgers. Diana Rattray

     Use a meat grinder or food processor to mince the chicken for these flavorful chicken burgers. The chicken thighs are ground or minced then flavored with lime juice, Cajun seasoning, cilantro or parsley, and garlic.

  • 15 of 29
    Chicken Meatballs
    Chicken Meatballs. Diana Rattray

    If you're making the meatballs for a pasta sauce and want extra Italian flavor, add about 1/2 teaspoon of dried leaf basil or oregano and a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

  • 16 of 29
    Slow Cooker Barbecued Chicken Thighs
    Slow Cooker Barbecued Chicken Thighs in Slider Buns. Diana Rattray

     Boneless chicken thighs are slow cooked to perfection with a few seasonings and purchased barbecue sauce, then they're shredded for delicious barbecue sandwiches. Serve the chicken barbecue with extra sauce, a side of slaw, sliced dill pickles, and baked beans.

    Continue to 17 of 29 below.
  • 17 of 29
    Barbecue Chicken Meatballs
    Barbecue Chicken Meatballs. Diana Rattray

     These barbecue chicken meatballs are made with ground boneless chicken thighs. They make a delicious appetizer, or serve them with rice or potatoes. Use a food processor or meat grinder to grind the chicken with the spices and onion.

  • 18 of 29
    Oven Barbecued Chicken Thighs
    Oven Barbecued Chicken Thighs. Diana Rattray

     These delicious chicken thighs are baked with a well seasoned barbecue sauce for a delicious everyday family meal. Serve this chicken with potato salad or rice for a perfect meal.

  • 19 of 29
    White Chicken Chili
    white chicken chili with cornbread. Iain Bagwell/Photolibrary/Getty Images

     Chicken thighs make this chicken chili extra flavorful. The chicken and bean chili is flavored with cumin, oregano, garlic, and optional cilantro.

  • 20 of 29
    Creole Chicken and Sausage
    Creole Chicken and Sausage. Diana Rattray

     Use smoked sausage or a spicy andouille sausage in this flavorful slow cooker chicken recipe. This is a super easy dish to prepare in the slow cooker.

    Continue to 21 of 29 below.
  • 21 of 29
    Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes
    Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes. Diana Rattray

     Tomatoes, mushrooms, and sliced olives are baked with the chicken thighs in this tasty dish. Serve the chicken with pasta or rice, along with a simple green salad.

  • 22 of 29
    Chicken Thighs With Mushroom and Wine Sauce
    Chicken Thighs With Mushroom and Wine Sauce. Diana Rattray

     Budget-friendly chicken thighs and a little white wine, broth, cream, and mushrooms make a fabulous meal with rice or noodles. I used boneless chicken thighs, but bone-in would work as well.

  • 23 of 29
    Chicken Thighs With Orange Sauce
    Chicken Thighs With Orange Sauce. Diana Rattray

     These easy baked chicken thighs are glazed with a flavorful orange sauce. Serve the chicken with hot cooked rice and green beans for a fabulous everyday meal.

  • 24 of 29
    Roasted Chicken Thighs
    Roasted Chicken Thighs. Diana Rattray

     Chicken thighs are not only full of flavor, they're easy on the budget, especially if you choose bone-in thighs. A simple combination of garlic, olive oil, seasonings, and rosemary help to bring out the flavor in the roasted chicken.

    Continue to 25 of 29 below.
  • 25 of 29
    Chicken with barbecue sauce
    Diana Rattray

     This baked chicken can be made with whole chicken legs, chicken leg quarters, or thighs. Or use a combination of pieces.

  • 26 of 29
    Slow Cooker Beef and Chicken Stew
    Slow Cooker Beef and Chicken Stew. Diana Rattray

     This slow cooker stew is made with a combination of stew beef and chicken thighs.  It's a meaty stew with potatoes, carrots, and loads of flavor. The secret to the heightened flavor is a few tablespoons of steak sauce.

  • 27 of 29
    chicken with peaches
    Diana Rattray

     This chicken is baked with peaches and a tasty honey and orange juice sauce.

  • 28 of 29
    Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken Soup With Beans
    Diana Rattray

      This slow cooker chicken soup is filled with Tex-Mex flavors. Enchilada sauce, tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of vegetables flavor this fabulous soup. Chicken thighs and beans provide the protein in the soup along with shredded spicy cheese.

    Continue to 29 of 29 below.
  • 29 of 29
    chicken chili
    Diana Rattray

     Chicken chili is a great alternative to beef or pork chili, and with extra vegetables and the beans, it's  healthier.